Elton John Launches $1 Million Coronavirus Emergency Fund to Protect Those with HIV

Georgia Slater

Elton John is doing his part to look after people with HIV and those most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

On Saturday, the music icon announced that his nonprofit, the Elton John Aids Foundation, is launching a $1 million COVID-19 Emergency Fund to protect those affected by HIV.

“I am so pleased to announce that my foundation is launching a new COVID-19 emergency fund today,” the 73-year-old kicked off a video of him sharing the news on Twitter. “For almost 30 years my foundation has prioritized the most vulnerable people to HIV to end the AIDS epidemic and we’re committed to this during the COVID-19 crisis too.”

The singer shared that “distributing medicine, testing and preventive treatment is not as simple as it was a few weeks ago” — efforts which he hopes his emergency fund can assist with.

“Our new COVID-19 emergency fund will help frontline partners to prepare for and respond to the pandemic and its effects on HIV prevention and care for the most marginalized communities,” the father of two explained.

“We must keep up momentum or else the results could be disastrous for people living with HIV and other infectious diseases,” he urged. “We’re with you, we’re thinking of you, we will not leave anyone behind.”

RELATED: Elton John-Hosted iHeartRadio Concert Raises Over $1 Million for Food Banks and First Responders

The “Rocket Man” singer helped to raise an additional $1 million last weekend while hosting the virtual iHeart Living Room Concert for America, presented by Fox.

The March 29 show featured performances from big-name musicians like Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Tim McGraw, Billie Joe Armstrong, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, during the time slot the iHeartRadio Music Awards would’ve been held if it hadn’t been postponed.

iHeartMedia/FOX Entertainment

The concert raised over $1 million thanks in large part to sponsor Procter & Gamble’s $500,000 contribution and a match from Fox, multiple outlets, including the New York Daily News and Deadline, reported. The money will benefit Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

RELATED: ‘With Deep Regret,’ Elton John Postpones Several Farewell Tour Dates Due to Coronavirus

According to Forbes, John addressed the audience during the show and said, “I can’t tell you how important it is for you to take this pandemic seriously. Not long ago, there was another infectious disease that was ignored. Day in and day out, the disease got worse because we did nothing. Too many forgot about compassion and decency, so millions and millions of people perished from AIDS.”

“But this time we aren’t going to let that happen. So stay home for the ones you love,” he continued. “We hope this bit of entertainment can feed and fuel your soul. And maybe bring you some strength.”

As of April 4, there have been at least 276,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and at least 7,100 patients have died, according to a New York Times database.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.